Tuesdays on the Run: Race Day Rituals

Today I’m joining Erika from MCM Mama Runs, Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere for the Tuesdays on the Run Linkup.  This week’s topic is Race Day Rituals.  This is a great topic for this week since in three short days I’ll be on my way to Virginia Beach for Shamrock weekend.


My race day rituals actually start the night before the race, when I lay out my race day outfit.  I always love taking my “Flat Kathryn” photo.  After getting my race bib, taking my flat race photo always makes race day seem like its really the next day.


Flat Kathryn ready for the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon

In addition to laying out my race outfit the night before, I also try to get everything else laid out that I’ll need on race day, including my Garmin, race fuel (usually a combination of Gu Energy Gels and Clif Shot Bloks, depending on the length of the race), my hydration belt (I usually wear my belt for any races 10k or longer in distance), my sunglasses, and Body Glide.  If I’m going to check a gear bag, I make sure that its packed, which usually includes a change of clothes and sandals to put on my feet after the race.

On race morning itself, I always take a shower.  Showers help me to wake up, and I like having a clean face and body when I go to run a race.  While this ritual might seem odd to some, I find a shower to be useful.

After I’m dressed, I eat my usual race day breakfast: a peanut butter sandwich and a banana.  When I travel for a race, I usually bring the food I need with me.  You never want to try something new on race day, and you never know what a hotel or nearby restaurant might have available.

Once I’m at the race, I always make sure to take lots of pictures before, during, and after the race.  I usually bring my “running” camera with me.  Its a small, cheap Canon camera that Preston and I had to buy from a Best Buy Express on our honeymoon after our old point and shoot camera broke only a couple of days into our trip.  While it isn’t an advanced camera by any means, it takes better quality pictures than my phone does, and has a strap, so if I want to I’m able to keep it around my wrist while running a race.  And since it wasn’t an expensive camera, I won’t be heartbroken if it accidentally gets dropped.

And if its a race that I’ve earned a medal at, my race day experience isn’t complete until I’ve taken a picture with my medal.

Speaking of races, have you entered my Magical Miles giveaway yet?  This book is a perfect resource for any runner thinking about running a race at Disney World.

QOTD: What is one of your race day rituals?

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43 Responses to Tuesdays on the Run: Race Day Rituals

  1. I don’t really have rituals and in fact sometimes don’t even lay my clothes out the night before LOL. I do shower most of the time before a race. I like being clean to start too.

  2. I have similar rituals, I need everything in order or I go a little nutty. I actually had anxiety dreams last night that I wasn’t prepared for my half marathon this weekend because I didn’t lay everything out ahead of time!

  3. My race day prep is similar to yours! I try to leave nothing to chance!

  4. I ALWAYS take a “flat Road Runner Girl” picture the night before every race! 🙂 And pictures before, during, and after the race are a must!

  5. I always need to lay out my flat runner. It just helps me feel calm for the morning knowing all my stuff is in one spot.

  6. Lesley says:

    I lay out my clothes to make sure I have everything and it matches the forecast. I also bring my breakfast with me since it’s tried and true.

  7. Chaitali says:

    A peanut butter sandwich is my go to race day breakfast too 🙂 It seems like a safe choice but provides enough fuel to keep my going for the morning.

  8. Unless it’s a bigger race (half marathon), I don’t really have any particular rituals that I follow, other than take lots of photos. 🙂

  9. Yup, taking the post race pic with the medal is a must! Ya know, I haven’t got into the habit of taking the “flat runner” pics the night before. I think I only did the during one of the disney races this year. I use to carry my point and shoot camera during the races but since I end up carrying my phone anyway, I stopped carrying my camera. Funny story: last year during PHM, I let my mom use my camera ( since I had my phone). She must have accidentally hit a setting because all the pictures she took with the camera turned out black and white with red highlights! I still don’t know what happened. -M

  10. I always set 2 alarms and quadruple check that they’re set. I’m so nervous I won’t wake up!

  11. I have coffee, water and pray. I always make sure to take care of restroom business first too TMI I know sorry…don’t want to have to use the portable. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Juliana says:

    I have to lay out all of clothes, review my race plan and try and get into bed 8 hour before I need to be up.

  13. My rituals are similar minus the morning shower. I figure I am going to get sweaty so I save the shower for after. I too like taking a pic of my race gear laid out and of course a pic of me and the medal after the finish!

  14. mkadens1 says:

    I definitely make a flat Marcia. The more I have done the night before, the better off I am.

  15. I always eat peanut butter on bread (or a waffle) exactly three hours before the start of a race 🙂

  16. Elle says:

    Great idea to have rituals. Makes it more special and fun for your looking back.

  17. Sun says:

    Haha, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that considers a shower a must on race day! And I couldn’t agree more that a pic with the race medal needs to happen after every race 🙂

  18. d20girl says:

    I always have to lay out my clothes and gear (gu, Garmin, roadID, etc) the night before so I don’t have to worry about forgetting something. Sounds like you’ve got a great set of rituals! Thanks for linking up with us!

  19. HoHo Runs says:

    I have everything laid out the night before as well. I take a pic of my race shirt, bib and medal in one shot. It’s a virtual scrapbook for me.

  20. NutriFitMama says:

    What I do is almost the exact same things you do! I HAVE to have everything laid out or I can’t focus at all for sure 🙂 Eating the SAME thing is something I always do as well- can’t take any chances there.

  21. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I do the same. I always lay out my clothes and gear the night before. I always eat the same exact thing before a race or long run too, an english muffin with almond butter!

  22. I really don’t think I have any race day rituals, other than “eat breakfast”. I don’t know how people can run long distances without eating first!

  23. We have a few very similar race day rituals.
    I always lay my clothes out the night before and i also like a shower the morning of, just to sort of wake up:) I also have one special pair of underwear LOL I know, that i only wear in a marathon:) I don’t know what I will do when that pair has seen their end:) LOL
    Fun post!

  24. Pingback: Friday Five – May 1st – Potpourri v. 1 | From Dancing to Running

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